“The Hawk” – James Hill’s little-known melodic genius

Published: November 18, 2013

Jim McGillivray continues his exclusive series with a look at the music of James Hill, “The Hornpipe King” of Northumberland. Little-known to Highland pipers, Hill was a fiddler originally from Scotland who gained renown in the first half of the 1800s. Not many of his compositions have been picked up for Highland pipes, but “The High Level” and “The Hawk” are known for their cheerful and soaring melodies. Included are sound files by Northumbrian piper Pauline Cato and McGillivray on the Deger pipe.

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Learning the scores note-for-note is acceptable; however, learning how to adjust the scores to the pipe tune is the key to playing music.
Graham Kirkwood, L-D, Niagara Regional Police